AVON, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers dropped both games in Thursday’s doubleheader action in Evansville against the Otters.
After a lengthy rain delay Wednesday followed by an almost four-hour game, both segments of the Thursday doubleheader went into extra innings.
In game one, the only scoring before extra innings occurred in the second inning. For the Crushers, it was shortstop Trevor Achenbach with a solo home run to get Lake Erie ahead.
The Otters were able to match that with a run of their own. Riley Krane came across the plate to even the score on a single by Christopher Pujols.
The starting pitching was excellent for each team. In his second start of the campaign, Grafton, Ohio native Ryan Feierabend delivered six and two-thirds innings of dominant pitching. He surrendered one run on three hits while sending nine Otters back to the dugout after strikeouts.
Feierabend’s counterpart for the evening, Dalton Stambaugh, had a successful night of his own. Stambaugh allowed a run accompanied by six strikeouts and four hits.
Elijah MacNamee would be the hero in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Otters. A single that brought Trent Nash home to score was the walk-off hit Evansville needed. The Otters won game one by a score of 2-1.
Neither of the starters received a decision. Evansville reliever Abraham Almonte (1-0) was assessed the victory after two innings of scoreless action with only one hit against him. Taylor Sugg (0-1) pitched an inning plus for the Crushers, but he allowed three hits and the game-winning run to cross home.
Game two brought even more excitement to Bosse Field. The Otters were right back on the scoresheet in the first inning after a sacrifice fly to center field by MacNamee scored Miles Gordon.
The same recipe was in store for Lake Erie in the third inning. A Dylan Jones sacrifice fly allowed Karl Ellison to dash across home plate, tying the ballgame.
Gordon would score again after a double by Andy DeJesus in the bottom of the third. A three-run fifth inning propelled the Crushers into the lead, 4-2. Shawon Dunston Jr. cashed in with an RBI single, followed by a Connor Oliver two-run single.
Evansville had its back against the wall in the bottom of the seventh. However, the Otters delivered with two runs to force extra innings. No runs were scored in the eighth inning, leading to the first home run derby decider for the Crushers this season.
Achenbach recorded two homers for Lake Erie, but that did not match the Evansville total of four dingers. The Otters won the derby by a score of 4-2, securing the game two win.
The pitching was decent again for the second game. Robby Rowland of the Crushers allowed four runs on five hits, striking out six over the span of six innings. Tyler Vail went seven innings for the Otters. He matched Rowland’s strikeouts and run count while allowing three hits.
The Crushers fall to 1-6 on the season, with the Otters improving to 6-1 overall.
Lake Erie will head to Southern Illinois to play the Miners in a weekend series. The first pitch for Friday night is set for 8:05 pm ET.